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John Boiles, he of the iPod-controlled RC car, also produced this sweet wirelessly controlled light dimmer, which he demonstrates in this video, controlling different sets of X-mas lights by shaking his iPod. See it work around 1:40, then be sure to check out the dance party at 2:40. The iPod is enclosed in the “law book” prop everyone is shaking around, together with their booties, while they rock out to vintage Bon Jovi, et. al.

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Sean Michael Ragan

Sean Michael Ragan

I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and makezine.com. My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c’t – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.


  • Jordan Running

    The logical next step, I think, is to let everyone at the dance party with an iPod or iPhone to install the software and run it simultaneously and average all the inputs in a meaningful way, thereby crowdsourcing the beat. You could even use some noise reduction techniques to increase the influence of those who move in sync and decrease the influence of those who don’t have very good rhythm. Some “interestingness” heuristics could be thrown in to give talented dancers their own “light solos.” Lots of potential here for a very cool dance party app.

  • Tyson Sieger

    Amazing! The accelerometer mode is the best among the bunch! It’s perfect for a house party. It would have been better if you could bring the lights to a bar. Hehe. At least, if he owns one, he can install as many lights as he can.

    Tyson Sieger